Survivor: Millennials vs Gen-X was the 33rd season and aired in the fall of 2016.
Survivor: Millennials vs Gen-X marked the start of a new era for the show as Fiji would become the location for every season for the foreseeable future. Eight seasons have now been filmed in Fiji and holding the show in the same location every season forces them to come up with different themes each year rather than simply titling the season after the location.
So for season 33, Millennials vs Gen-X was the theme. What were the most memorable moments from the 33rd season of Survivor? Let’s take a look.
Well, as I touched on, season 33 pitted those who fall in the age range of millennials against those who fall in the age range of Gen-X. What transpired was an interesting season filled with memorable contestants and showed the different thought processes between the two generations.
Right off the bat, it was evident that the Gen-X team were more forward thinkers, getting their shelter completed the first night while the millennials wanted to gab a little more and therefore, their shelter was incomplete and they were in for a rough night without a real shelter. Speaking of…
For the first time in Survivor history, the two tribes were evacuated because of a cyclone. Jeff Probst entered both teams’ camps and informed them that they’d be spending the night away from their camp for their own protections.
We saw after the cyclone hit how badly damaged both camps were and Survivor made the right call here for sure. Someone could have gotten very hurt had the show stuck to its mantra and made the contestants try to survive a cyclone.
I’m going to help you win Survivor trivia. Who was the first contestant to ever find the Legacy Advantage? That would be Jessica Lewis, who discovered the Legacy Advantage while the two tribes were gathering supplies on the very first day.
The purpose of the Legacy Advantage is that it can be used as a Hidden Immunity Idol but unlike a regular idol, can only be played at certain tribal councils. If a player is voted out, they have to will the Legacy Advantage to someone. After Jessica was eliminated on Day 30 (we’ll get to this in a bit — Sorry, Jessica), she willed it to Ken McNickle.
Ken read the Legacy Advantage out loud at tribal council on Day 36 — and you have to remember that the concept was new at the time — which informed everyone that it played the same as a Hidden Immunity Idol. Ken negated one vote against him as a result.
The Legacy Advantage has been used two more times since its inception — in Game Changers and Ghost Island.
Millennials vs Gen-X tried to come up with interesting twists, but the reward steal wasn’t one of them. Adam Klein — the eventual winner of Survivor 33 — found the reward steal and foolishly told Taylor about it. Taylor then told Jay and eventually, it became public knowledge to everyone that Adam held this power.
Adam ended up giving Jay the reward steal after Jay took him on the loved ones reward. Jay used the advantage at a final six reward challenge, “stealing” the reward from David, but still electing to take David on the reward in a very classy move.
Survivor has tried to bring this twist back in Edge of Extinction and Winners at War, but it wasn’t utilized either time. Everyone is probably okay with that too.
One of the more popular storylines from the pre-merge portion of the game was the budding romance between Jessica “Figgy” Figueroa and Taylor Stocker. The two formed an immediate connection on Day 1 and were joined at the hip until Figgy was voted out on Day 18.
The two weren’t coy about their romance and that’s what ultimately doomed Figgy at the end of the day. She and Taylor’s relationship didn’t survive post-Survivor but it’s hard not to think about these two when season 33 comes to mind.
Bret and Zeke’s conversation
One of my favorite moments to ever occur on Survivor was when Bret LaBelle came out to Zeke Smith at a reward challenge. The two were casually chatting and Bret brought it up to Zeke who was shocked. The two acknowledged their generations’ ways of handling coming out and Zeke made it a point to thank the Gen-X generation for paving the way for Millennials to have an easier time with coming out.
This truly was a heartfelt moment and just makes you feel good when watching it. Props to Survivor for including this scene and even more props to Bret and Zeke for making the moment happen.
David vs Zeke
A few seasons after Millennials vs Gen-X, we’d have David vs Goliath, but first up was David vs Zeke. David Wright and Zeke Smith were the darlings of season 33, so it was only fitting that on Day 30, the two would go head-to-head to see who would control things for the rest of the season.
David’s alliance targeted Zeke himself while Zeke’s alliance went off script and wrote down Hannah Shapiro’s name. As expected, there was a tie between Hannah and Zeke and when no one budged, the next step was a rock draw between anyone who wasn’t Hannah, Zeke, or Jay (he was immune). Unfortunately for Jessica, she drew the white rock and was eliminated without having her name written down at tribal council.
From there, Zeke seemingly had the power, but he literally went home the next episode thanks to a crafty idol play by Adam. The show might have been more catered to David and Zeke, but Adam made the right moves to get him to the end.
While Adam’s legacy now might be trying to play a podium at tribal council on Winners at War, he was on that season for a reason, wasn’t he? That’s because he won Millennials vs Gen-X and did so in a commanding 10-0-0 win over Ken and Hannah.
Adam made the right moves when he needed to (the idol play that took Zeke out was most impressive) and of course, we all ached for him with the story surrounding his mother’s battle with cancer.
Adam made enemies during his season but when push came to shove, he made the hard decisions and did what he had to do to get to the end. He was the right winner for Millennials vs Gen-X.